Basking Sharks Essay Research Paper The Basking

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Basking Sharks: Essay, Research Paper The Basking Shark: Hope for the Future? Introduction – What are the biological characteristics, habitat, and value of basking sharks? I. Interrelated life forms populate the oceans. A. Photoplankton synthesize food. 1. Using carbon dioxide 2. Dissolving minerals 3. Collecting sunlight energy B. Small fish consume photoplankton. C. Zooplankton eats minute plants. 1. Sea worms 2. Jellyfish 3. Crustaceans D. Food chain ends with large creatures. 1. Whales 2. Sharks E. Some of the largest creatures feed on the smallest. II. Ocean creatures feed at various depths of the sea. A. Most large creatures gather at the top layer of the ocean. 1. Food is plentiful. 2. Water is warm. B. Small creatures feed on organic debris deep in the ocean. 1.

Fish 2. Crustaceans III. Fish species include 340 members. A. Skates B. Rays C. Chimeras D. Sharks 1. Not a bony fish 2. Skeleton made of cartilage IV. Location of sharks A. Marine waters B. Tropical seas C. Subtropical waters V. Length of the shark varies. A. Whale shark as great as 49 feet B. Cookie-cutter shark as small as 19 inches VI. Agressiveness varies. A. Most appear to be aggressive carnivores. B. Some of the largest are plankton-eaters. VII. Sharks have not changed from the Cretaceous Period. A. Caused by great diversity in behavior B. Variety of sizes C. Excellent adaptation skills VIII. Sharks belong to class Chondrichthyes. A. Scientific names of sharks 1. Whale sharks – rhincodon typus 2. Cookie-cutter sharks – Squaliolus laticaudus 3. Bull tiger shark –

Galeocerdo cuvier 4. Spiny dogfish – Squalus ancanthias 5. Great White Shark – Carcharodon carcharias 6. Hammerhead shark – Sphymidae 7. Blue Shark – Prionace glauca 8. Basking Shark – Cetorhinus maximus B. Skeletons of Chondrichthyans are made of cartilage. 1. Can be strenghened by deposits of minerals in areas of stress a. jaws b. vertebrae 2. Lighter than bone since sharks have no swim bladder 3. Material that is flexible for swimming and turning 4. Grows throughout life of shark IX. Specific characteristics of the basking shark. A. Found in temperate oceans B. Length up to 43 feet C. Swims near surface 1. Seen sunning near top of water 2. May be in variety of positions a. back b. side c. high in water D. Feeds on plankton E. Enormous fish F. Mouth is large 1. Wide

2. Small-toothed G. Gill slits 1. Lined with long, bristle-like rakers 2. Five sets 3. Trap food of plankton H. Originally hunted for its liver oil I. Not known to be dangerous J. Color blends with environment 1. Upper, dorsal surface is greyish brown 2. Lower, ventricle surface is white 3. Seen less by enemies K. Fusiform body 1. Rounded and tapered at both ends 2. Reduces water friction 3. Requires minimum energy to swim L. Placoid Scales 1. Regular pattern 2. Reduce friction 3. Different from centoid scales of bony fish M. Characteristics of the head 1. Fins formed in half-moon pattern 2. Mouth on underside of head 3. Wide separation of nostrils N. Characteristics of the teeth 1. Small 2. Great in number 3. Formed in parallel rows 4. Not meant for carniverous purposes 5. Rows

of teeth develop continuously as replacements for functional teeth 6. Not used for attack purposes X. Scientists have recorded measurements of the basking shark. A. Babies are five to six feet at birth. B. Pacific Ocean basking sharks 1. 23 feet long 2. 6,600 lbs. C. Atlantic Ocean basking sharks 1. 30 feet long 2. 8,600 lbs. D. Others have observed lengths from 35 – 50 feet. XI. Sharks have been observed in many places. A. Gulf of Maine swimming alone B. Northeastern United States in large numbers C. In winter, they move to warm climate D. Known boundaries 1. North – Nova Scotia and Newfoundland 2. South – Mediterranean Sea 3. West – North Carolina XII. Breeding patterns are largely unknown. A. Produce live young B. Ovaries contain six million immature eggs. XIII. Sharks